It’s been extremely rewarding to become friends with most of my amazing clients. Interestingly enough, Kay Allison of Farm&Oven was a friend first, client second. I entered into our business agreement with both excitement and slight apprehension. Could we carefully define where friendship ends and business begins? The answer is a resounding YES. We’ve been having great fun exploring boundaries. We’re both redefining what it means to be a good friend, good business partner and most importantly, good person. Kay never fails to amaze me and I look up to her immensely. She is the ultimate boss babe. With over 30 years of corporate experience and another 30 as a mom to match, she’s now using her wise wisdom to reach back, reach out and offer supportive guidance to other women on a similar journey. Her brilliant food company is simply an extension of her constant need to leave things a little better than she found them. This time, our palate and our daily nutrition requirements have her to thank. Farm&Oven mini muffins are a lifesaver for this busy entrepreneur. If you haven’t tried them out yet, now is the time!
Why did you create Farm&Oven?
I’ve been a mom for my entire adult life. And I’ve learned a few things about getting my kids to eat veggies. When I had the idea of hiding 1/2 cup of real veggies in muffins, I knew it would be a winner – for my family and other families as well.
Before starting a successful business you worked in corporate America for over 30 years. Could you tell us more about your journey? Some highlights?
In the corporate world, I got world-class business and marketing training. I also am grateful for the educational opportunities. What I learned has made my career possible.
What is your favorite vegetable? Why?
Oh, that’s the toughest question because I love so many! Currently, it’s roasted carrots with a pesto vinaigrette.
Why is a healthy breakfast so important?
Breakfast sets the tone for the day. Nourishment in the morning does two things: First, it helps you and your kids be their best all day. And second, it helps prevent binging on sugar later in the day.
You have a bakery in Philadelphia. Could you tell us more about your day-to-day?
Our bakery uses equipment that replicates my home baking, albeit on a much larger scale! In fact, our oven is the size of an elevator car!
Little known fact, you have a business partner. Could you tell us more about him? Why did you two decide to work together?
Asking Mike Senackerib to be my business partner was the best decision I’ve made so far with Farm&Oven. He was my client when I was a consultant helping huge food companies create new products. At the time, he ran Nabisco (just a little job…). He’s got a solid character, he keeps his cool, and he’s immensely clever about business.
There have been studies done recently that suggest food has a huge impact on mental health. What are your thoughts on this?
I know from personal experience it’s true. Eating a LOT of veggies is part of how I manage my own depression and anxiety.
What is your favorite part of being a mom? What is your least favorite part?
The very best part is having created a family that is ready to laugh, and is filled with love and affection for each other. The worst part? Learning to let go. I know now that the only thing I can do as a mom is to love unconditionally and provide lots of opportunities (and healthy food!). Each of us has our own path.
What does the term “Secret Snacker” mean?
Hah! Don’t we all do this??? Most of us have snacks that we’re embarrassed to have people see us eating. The cool thing about Farm&Oven is that you don’t have to eat them in secret!
When not running a successful business, what are your favorite things to do?
I LOVE living in Boulder, CO. I hike in the summer and ski in the winter. I also love music and play the cello. (My first career was as a cellist!)
What has been your favorite part of working with me? Your least favorite part?
I have so many favorite parts about working with you! You are strategic, creative and detail oriented. And really fun and ready to laugh. This is a rare and extremely valuable combination. I can’t think of a least favorite part.
Would you suggest Bubblegum and Duct Tape to other businesses? Why or why not?
I wholeheartedly recommend Bubblegum and Duct Tape to all of my entrepreneur friends. As owners of startups, none of us can afford to waste money. Your creative marketing really drives business.